Today the Lifetime Television Network released the names of the twenty fashion designers who will appear on the next season ‘Project Runway’ which begins later this July. The show, now in its ninth season, has never before boasted such a large group of designers, though show insiders have leaked, among other spoilers, that four of the designers will be cut at the end of the very first episode.
Among the fashion hopefuls was one familiar name, Anya Ayoung-Chee. Ayoung-Chee is no new comer to the spot light or to fashion competitions as the 29 year old fashion designer formerly held the title of Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe 2008 and went on to be a contestant in the Miss Universe 2008 pageant.
Shortly after her reign of Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe ended Anya Ayoung-Chee would go on to make headline news for a much more sordid reason. A video, reportedly hacked from the computer of videographer Wyatt Gallery who was a longtime boyfriend of Ayoung-Chee, leaked to the news media. The video features a three-way sexual encounter between Anya Ayoung-Chee, Wyatt Gallery, and another woman who was first reported to be the 2008 Miss Japan Universe winner, though later reports retracted her name from the affair and said only that it was an unidentified woman who was a friend of the beauty queen and her boyfriend.
The Miss Universe Pageant quickly distanced itself from the scandal, saying that since Anya Ayoung-Chee’s reign was already completed it would take no further action against the beauty queen. Of the leaked video Wyatt Gallery would say only, “I feel horrible and embarrassed for Anya, her family, and myself”. Gallery suspected the video was stolen from his laptop by someone he had brought the computer to for tech service.
Unfortunately the scandal over the three-way video overshadowed the other accomplishments of Anya Ayoung-Chee. Since 2003, Ayoung-Chee has been a member of the TallMan Foundation, a charitable group created by her family for the empowerment of young people in underprivileged areas. In 2008, before the video leaked, the United Nations Association of Trinidad and Tobago (UNATT) asked Ayoung-Chee to be spokeswomen and champions for the group.
For Anya Ayoung-Chee, the youngest of a family of eight and the only girl, her love of fashion design began at an early age. She had a strong hand in selecting and at times even designing the fashions she wore while competing in beauty pageants. Her formal education is in Graphic and Interior Design.
Somewhat ironically on ‘Project Runway: Season Nine’ Anya Ayound-Chee will be joined by Kim Kardashian, who is the celebrity guest judge for the couture stilt walkers challange. Kardashian also rose to fame after the leaked release of her own sex tape.